In honor of the play-date we have planned today (Happy President's Day), I thought it best to write a post about why I f*cking LOVE having play-dates; especially those planned for days that I am home alone with the kiddos. Not only do they break up the day, but the kiddos have a friend/ friends and I get to have a real, live conversation with someone over the age of 2! Now that is a win-win if you ask me. Here are my top 5 (because really there are a million) reasons why play-dates seriously rock:
1. Double the eyes, double the fun!
I mean how can you go wrong with finding a contained space and playing a little zone defense with a pal? Even though another kid is added, it always seems so much less stressful going out in to the world when you know another set of trusted eyes will be present; and with mom eyes there is a 0% chance that something critical will be missed. Less stress equals double the fun for both you and the wee ones.
2. Location, Location.
Our house is loaded with toys; I mean, duh! We have 2 of the cutest princesses around which makes people basically want to throw gifts at them on the daily. However, the days tend to drag on when we spend too many days in a row at home; especially without their dad. This is were a location play-date comes in handy. Not only does it help cure cabin fever, but venturing out means that nobody has to feel the need to clean their house (although it is never ACTUALLY necessary as we all know kids are nuts), prepare appetizers of some sort or plan snacks for the kiddos. A trip to the park, where every body fends for themselves and prepares prior for their basic needs, is just what an ordinarily long day needs. Throw some snacks at the situation and you've got 2 full hours of fun and (mostly) happy kiddos. On top of that, when you return home, you know that it is in the exact state in which you left it (which is good or bad depending on how you look at it...).
3. Sharing is caring.
Although most location play-dates contain multiple different activities (i.e. the park has slides, swings, etc.), there is always that one thing that every body wants. Unfortunately, a play-date never means that only 1 child is present so someone is going to have to share. Insert teachable moment and you have yourself a lesson in turn-taking. The kiddos usually get over it after a small bribe that the play-date will end sooner than they would like if they don't figure it out (I am never above bribery) and learn a little something too. Just another reason that play-dates rock and our kiddos may not turn out to be a** holes after all.
4. Snacks and toys and potties, OH MY!
Holy moly kids need a lot of stuff. I have 1 newborn and 1 toddler that IS potty-trained and I still feel like a freakin' bag lady. Although I always run through my mental list of what I will need to be away from the house for an entire HOUR, I always forget at least one thing. That's where a play-date comes in handy. If you are play-datin' than there must be another mom involved; and with another mom involved, odds are they have anything that you are missing. Other moms are even fabulous for the things that you aren't missing! If Child 1 is having Veggie Straws (oh, the Veggie Straws) and Child 2 has Cheez-its, odds are one child is going to want what the other child is having. Moms are AWESOME and usually have a spare and are able to help you in avoiding a meltdown situation. Another awesome thing about play-date moms are that they totally get it! Potty-training toddler on the loose? Not only will they encourage your child to go potty, they will praise them for doing it. Indoor play-date? Don't even bother bringing a potty with you because, chances are, they already have one sitting out somewhere that your toddler will actually be even more motivated to use since it's not their own. The best part about forgetting something or borrowing something from another mom is that you always know there are no strings attached nor is there a shred of judgment. We are all in this together after all!
5. MOM TALK!
Another reason that the days can drag on, and on, and on sometimes when we are all cooped up inside for multiple days in a row is that there is limited adult interaction. Even in a play-date just involves another mom and her child coming over, the sanity that they bring with them is heavenly. It's amazing what a little "mom speak" does for the soul. The kiddos can run around and act like crazy people together and the moms can talk about anything and everything; especially children. In some scenarios you get that feeling that you talk about your children too much; but not on a play-date/ mom-date. With mom talk on a play-date anything goes and if you're lucky coffee will be involved!